ArchiveAugust 2014

Happy Labor Day

Monday is Labor Day in the US and most of us have off. My neighborhood is already resplendent in scents of grills. Enjoy the day off and we’ll be back talking about spam next week.

Who pays for spam?

A couple weeks ago, I published a blog post about monetizing the complaint stream. The premise was that ESPs could offer lower base rates for sending if the customer agreed to pay per complaint. The idea came to me while talking with a deliverability expert at a major ESP. One of their potential customer wanted the ESP to allow them to mail purchased lists. The customer even offered to indemnify...

A new way of reading email

Fastcompany reports that AOL has a new webmail client “Alto” that changes how email is read and received. Alto is divided into two main windows: a streamlined column of mail that matters, and a grid of tiles for navigating leftover inbox clutter. In Alto, many messages and files are automatically and neatly aggregated into tiles of common categories: for photos, attachments, social...

Unsubscribing is hard

A comment came through on my post about unsubscribing that helpfully told me that the problem was I didn’t unsubscribe correctly. As you know, there are usually two unsubscribe options in many of the bulk senders emails. Are you unsubscribing from the global or the offer unsub? Unless you are unsubscribing from both, you will still be on the lists. To address the underlying question, I did...

Yes, spam is actually still a problem

I hear a lot of people claim that spam isn’t really a problem any more. That filters are so good that the average user doesn’t see a lot of spam and if they do get “legitimate” mail that they can just opt out. These are great sounding arguments, the problem is that those arguments aren’t always true. There is an address I stopped using for commercial mail around 1997...

Email saves trees!

The arrival of my first spam email was a bit of a shock. I’d been on the internet for years by that point and had never seen junk mail in my inbox. Of course, the Internet was a very different place. The web was still a toddler. There was no email marketing industry. In fact, there wasn’t much commerce on the web at all. Much of the “surfing” I did was using gopher and ftp...

Protecting users from look-alike accounts

Gmail recently started accepting mail (and calendar invitations) with non-Latin characters. A lot of fraudulent emails use non-Latin characters as a way to fool users. Google is on top of these security issues, however, and is now throwing away some mail with non-Latin characters. the Unicode community has identified suspicious combinations of letters that could be misleading, and Gmail will now...

Nominations for the J.D. Falk Award

J.D. Falk was one of the first names I encountered when learning how to read headers and report spam back in the mid-90s. He was one of the folks leading the fight against spam and actively trying to improve the Internet. When I was hired by MAPS I got to work with J.D. and a number of other big-names. One of the things that really surprised me was that this “internet elder” I had...

Email templates

SendwithUs is crowdsourcing and open sourcing email templates. These are tested templates submitted by the SendwithUs community and run through the Litmus testing suite.
If you’re in the market for a template, or want to share a great template you’ve designed, check out the SendwithUs project.

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